The Elevation of Women in the Military


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One of my business colleagues, Ed Rule (President and CEO of Naval Systems, Inc. and retired Supply Corps Officer) shared his March Newsletter with me and I wanted to share it with NNOA.  In it, Ed highlights a few of the women role models we have been blessed with in our military.

The elevation of women in our military is clearly the most important change that I can recall in my 34 years of service.  It has made our military far more resilient, intelligent and ready.  The women highlighted in this newsletter are just a few examples of inspirational leadership in our military.

I hope all of the NNOA members will share their stories this Women’s History Month.

RADM Sinclair Harris, USN (Ret)
President NNOA

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month

We are excited to celebrate Women’s History Month as our National Naval Officers Association acknowledge, honor, and reflect on the contributions of women to leadership in the Sea Services. This year’s theme is “Women Providing Healing – Promoting Hope.” This theme is “both a tribute to the ongoing work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”

Lest we forget the work of Susie Taylor King – Susie King Taylor – Wikipedia –  who is well known (or should be) for her service during the Civil War.  Our NNOA legendary role model and hero CAPT Sandi Pollard – CAPT Sandi Pollard, USN (Ret) – NNOA Visionary and Life Member – 2019 | NNOA who served as a role model to me and so many others in NNOA, women have always played a critical and leading role in taking care of our shipmates and giving our families hope.  From the first Army nurse Anna May Hayes – Anna Mae Hays – Wikipedia – who served in a mud-caked jungle hospital during WWII to the LCDR  Mildred McAfee – Mildred H. McAfee – Wikipedia – who became the director of the WAVES in 1942, women in the armed forces have been providing hope and healing to our military service members in times of war and peace. Women continue to serve in roles that provide healing and promote hope from doctors, nurses, chaplains, and counselors.

The National Naval Officers Association are looking forward to the various programs and events provided by the local chapters. Please share your events on our website: to continue to inspire future generations of excellence.

Very respectfully,

Sinclair M. Harris, RADM USN Retired

President, NNOA

Black History Month Message from the President’s Desk

February is the month we celebrate Black History. The 2022 Black History Month celebration theme is “Black Health and Wellness.” As we take the time to focus on our health and wellness, I would like to share a poem that I feel sums up this month.  It was written by my mother, the late Margaret Oliver:

There is stress and strife in our daily life,
And peace seems far away.
But with work and prayer we have hope,
To find health and wellness day by day.
Our minds and bodies are fragile things,
So we have to treat them well.
Diet, exercise, meditation and friends,
Are part of the magic spell.
We are all challenged all along our journey,
In our days on this earthly realm.
Just keep your head up and keep your spirit,
You are not alone at life’s helm.
I and the NNOA family are looking forward to celebrating the legacy of Black contributors, scholars, and practitioners in Western medicine. NNOA chapters, please share your events, photos, and links as we celebrate together.

MLK Birthday – A Day On…Not A Day Off

As we reflect on the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I encourage our NNOA family to give back to local communities as a National Day of Service. Please share your stories and photos of service as an encouragement to everyone.

Dr. King’s life work is the idea that we must learn from one another and work together to pursue equality and justice. Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

God bless and v/r,
RADM Sinclair Harris, USN(Ret)

December Holiday President’s Message

December Holiday President’s Message

Dear Shipmates, Family, and Friends of NNOA,

Season’s Greetings! I wish you good health, great happiness, and much prosperity through the season and into 2022. As I reflect on the many successes of 2021 for our association, I feel nothing but pride for all that we have accomplished, and I have tremendous expectations for the year to come.

This year has been phenomenal for the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) both as an organization and our members. Our membership has grown over the last three years. Our chapters are expanding, with new ones starting across our Sea Services and established ones thriving. Our members are being promoted, recognized, and taking positions of greater responsibility and importance. Our finances are excellent and will get even better as we establish the NNOA Foundation. Active and reserve members are working with Sea Services recruiting personnel to identify eligible candidates for Officer and NROTC programs. Our Career Development program provides mentors and open forums with senior leadership via Zoom to help officers navigate career challenges and milestones. Our veterans support recruiting efforts and have established an outstanding Transition Assistance Team program. Our reputation with leadership across the Sea Services is strong and getting stronger as the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Public Health Service, and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have all drawn on NNOA for support in growing a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and resilient Officer Corps. Many organizations and entities that support American Sea Power have asked NNOA to collaborate and work with them, increasing our association’s relevance and impact. I could list so much more of what NNOA has done in 2021, but I share these few to give you a sense of our outstanding accomplishments for the year.

As we begin 2022, there are even greater expectations for NNOA. We will celebrate our Golden Anniversary from July 25-29 as NNOA turns 50 years young! Our celebration will be at the place where it all began in Annapolis, Maryland, with an impressive line-up of speakers. More details will come in January. NNOA is deepening its relationship with our civilian Shipmates as Ms. Karen Davis, a Senior Executive Service (SES) in our Navy, has joined our leadership as a Liaison Advisor. Our Career Development Committee will continue to take full advantage of our virtual platform featuring more awesome speakers and mentoring opportunities. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are being planned for several new NNOA chapters, undoubtedly enhancing our mission effectiveness.

In closing, as your President, I ask that each of you to do the following:

  • First and foremost, have a blessed holiday season, and please reflect on the many good things we are doing and what is happening with our NNOA Shipmates.
  • Second, share the good news of NNOA with your Shipmates, both members and non-members, and with friends and family. Finally, please continue to support our mission of Recruitment, Retention, and Career Development in support of American Sea Power.

Again, I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!

Where do we go from here?

49th Symposium Letter from NNOA President’s Desk

September 12, 2021

Greetings NNOA Shipmates, Family, and Friends!

Another outstanding NNOA Symposium is passed and opening!  Bravo Zulu to all who organized, led, participated, and provided technical support!  I offer a special thanks to LtCol Khalilah Thomas, USMC for her phenomenal leadership from start to finish as our Symposium Chairperson. Over 360 attendees heard speakers and panelists that included all three Sea Service Chiefs and many others.  New offerings such as our first ever Senior Executive Service Panel was an unqualified success.  Bravo Zulu to all!

As part of our tradition, I provided an NNOA Year in Review to the general body.  Many were not able to attend but we did record it.  Please take time to listen to it and send any comments.  You can also open it inside our website. Send your comments to me at  I assure you I will read them all.

Let me also take a moment to welcome (or welcome back) our new leadership for NNOA:

  • Executive VP: Colonel Quintin D. Jones, USMC
  • Treasurer:  LCDR Bea Henderson, USN (Ret.)
  • Veterans Rep:  CDR Ernie Taylor, USN (Ret.)
  • Public Relations Officer: Capt Larry Boyd, USMC
  • Eastern Region VP: Major Matt Bowman, USMC
  • Central Region VP: CDR Stacey O’Neal, USN
  • Western Region VP: CAPT Kevin Reed, USCG

As I take a three-point fix on our organization, it is clear that NNOA is in a good place.  Financially, we are sound, thanks to the great work of our treasurer Bea Henderson.  Our membership continues to be very solid with over 1000 shipmates and growing – thank you Tremayne Williams our Membership Chair. And our reputation as an organization is well respected by the leaders of our Sea Services, NOAA, Public Health Service and MARAD. This is due to the work of the many at the chapter and national level. NNOA members are engaging Sea Service leadership over important issues and representing our organization well.  Bottomline, we are squarely in the center of the channel and making way. As an “old SWO” I know where we have been and where we are now is not as important as where we are headed.  I have a few thoughts but really need to hear from you – especially those on Active Duty, Reservists still serving, and Government Service members still in the fight.  We Veteran’s have demonstrated our commitment and will continue to do so under the leadership of Ernie Taylor and others, but the future of NNOA is about those still serving. I need to know what is on your heart and mind.

There are many initiatives already underway in OUR NNOA.  Here are just a few:

  1. NNOA turns 50 years young in 2022. We will be holding our symposium in person and back where it all started in Annapolis, Maryland starting July 25, 2022.  We will put out the link for registration early.  Please don’t wait to until the last minute to register your attendance.  CAPT Robert Dews, USN (Retired) is our Symposium Chairperson.  He is looking for volunteers.  Please let him know if you are willing to support the effort in any way.  CAPT Rick Wright, USN (Retired) Phd is our NNOA Historian.  He is looking for volunteers as well. He is also requesting your NNOA photos, artifacts, and memories to help him put together our 50 year journey into a proper historical perspective.


  1. NNOA Logo Contest. We have conducted a small sample survey and there appears to be some who believe that our logo needs to be updated. I am sure there are also those who are more traditional in perspective and love our current symbol.  With this in mind, we have launched a contest to see what ideas are out there for a new logo and will reveal it during our 50th symposium for vote.


  1. NNOA Roster and Membership Roles need to be updated. Many of us have changed email addresses, ranks, retired, or moved.  The only way for NNOA to keep up with you, is with your help.  Often, we are seeing members fail to renew membership and then tell me that it just slipped their minds.  I understand, as it has happened to me before I became a life member.  No worries!  This is an easy fix but I need your help.  I ask all to do two things:
    1. I need each of you to review their status and contact information in NNOA.
    2. I need each of you to renew their membership and spread the word to others.


  1. NNOA Foundation. We are modernizing our platform, our processes, and our infrastructure. Having been a member of NNOA since 1988 and served as your president since 2018, I have seen the ups and the downs of NNOA over the years.  We are on a good pace right now, but we will not be able to continue meeting the needs of our members and the Sea Service leaders without a more stable financial foundation.  We have gotten about all the juice we can out of an all-volunteer organization but need a modest investment in infrastructure to take NNOA to the next level.  In the coming weeks, you will be hearing more from me and others regarding this new initiative.


  1. NNOA Diversity Strategy (NDS). VADM Kevin Scott, USN (Retired) has the deck and the conn on moving our NDS from PowerPoint to reality. He is already in flight making an impact with leadership.  There are a few who have signed on to help, but more will be needed. Stay tuned.

In summary, the state of NNOA is sound.  We have much to cherish about where we have come and what we can do moving forward. We have many irons in the fire, but I need you, our membership on board and in the fight to make our NNOA stronger and responsive to the call of recruitment, training, retention, and diversity.   I close with two very important question for you – Where do we go from here and will you help us? .  Remember, “we are stronger together.”  

Very respectfully,

Sinclair Harris, RADM USN (Retired), President, NNOA